A Zimbabwean data point or two: if you prefer, the mess that inflation (not to say corruption and general thuggery) causes to an economy.
Of course, those aren't the only ways that government can mess up an economy, certainly not.
No, really, there are other ways in which that centralised authority can make things worse.
To blame the entire sub-prime mess on this might be too much: but government itself should certainly bear some of the blame.
Phew, economics works: we're seeing the signs of people changing their behaviour to deal with higher fuel prices.
Yes, technology does change: to the point that old decisions sometimes need revisiting.
And finally, the miracle of the intertubes: how books are written these days.